After catching just one pass during the 2011 NFL season, Brandon Stokley’s career took a turn for the better when he was reunited with Peyton Manning in Denver. Stokley caught 45 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns with the Broncos, but feels he’s likely out of a job now that Wes Welker has joined the team. He shares his thoughts on his season in Denver and what Welker’s addition will mean for Manning.
Brandon Stokley joined ESPN 102.3 in Denver with C.J. and Kreckman to discuss the strange situation with Elvis Dumervil, why he doesn’t anticipate being in Denver next year, if he intends to keep playing, what Wes Welker’s addition means for Denver and Peyton Manning and what the Broncos can do to get better next year.
In your long career in the NFL, have you ever heard of a situation like this with Elvis Dumervil?:
“No, you know, I didn’t even know anything until about five minutes ago. … Never seen anything like that, but it seems like every year something crazy happens and this might be that crazy thing this year.”
How much will his absence affect the Broncos?:
“It definitely hurts. He’s such a good player, is a good teammate. … I know there’s a few good pass-rushers still left, so I’m sure they’re going to be trying to get one of those guys.”
With Wes Welker coming to Denver, what are the odds you’re still with the Broncos next year?:
“I don’t know. Like you said, we play pretty much the same position, so it doesn’t look good for me. But you never know in this league what can happen. But right now it doesn’t look like I’ll be back there.”
Whether it’s Denver or somewhere else, do you see your career continuing on?:
“Yeah, I think so. It’s always harder when you’re my age. I’ve got two boys and it’s harder to be away from them, but I think so. I think I still want to play and I still love the game, love to compete and I still think I’ve got something to offer a team.”
How well do you think Wes Welker will be with Peyton Manning?:
“I think he’ll do what he’s done the last six years. He’s done it all. He’s as tough as they come, makes the big catches over the middle in traffic, takes a pounding and is there week-in and week-out. I admire his game from afar and you can just tell that he’s a true football player. … They’ll have a lot of weapons and I think he’ll play a big role in the offense.”
Where can the Broncos get better for next season?:
“I think all in all, the offense being together for another year, having the whole offseason to go through and get on the same page and take the next step. It’s tough to throw a new offense in and all of the sudden be a great offense. … I think you’ll see a different team next year and a much-improved team.”
Have you been talking to teams or have the Broncos told you to stay in shape just in case?:
“No, you know, that’s kind of my plan right now, is just to stay in shape and see if anything pops open and comes available. If it does, I’ll just kind of evaluate the situation and see if its the right situation for me.”